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Phoenix Linn.

刺葵属

Description from Flora of China

Stems solitary or clustered, short and subterranean to large and aerial, usually rough with very close nodes, often covered with persistent leaf bases. Leaves 8-50, pinnate; leaf sheaths open; pinnae induplicate, regularly or irregularly arranged and then spreading in different planes, at base of leaf modified into short, stout, sharp spines (acanthophylls). Plants dioecious. Inflorescences usually branched to 1 order, borne among leaves; peduncle bearing a prophyll, other bracts much reduced; rachillae often borne in groups or spirals along inflorescence rachis; flowers small, simple, unisexual; male flowers with 6(-9) stamens. Fruits variously colored black or brown, obovoid, oblong, or ellipsoid, usually 1-seeded; mesocarp fleshy, thick and sweet tasting in date palm but thin and bitter in other species; endosperm homogeneous, rarely ruminate; germination remote; eophylls undivided.

In addition to species no. 1 below, Phoenix canariensis Chabaud (Prov. Agric. Hort. Ill. 19: 293. 1882; 加拿利海枣 jia na li hai zao) is cultivated in China. It is native to the Canary Islands.

Records of Phoenix sylvestris (Linnaeus) Roxburgh from China (e.g., FRPS 13(1): 8. 1991) were presumably based on misidentifications.

Fourteen species: from the Canary Islands across Africa, the Mediterranean, and SW Asia to just reaching the Philippines; three species (one introduced) in China.


 

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